- Pierre LeBrun, NHL
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LOS ANGELES -- Add Martin Brodeur's name to the mix for the July 1 free-agent market, as the NHL's all-time winningest goaltender has decided he's ready to leave New Jersey and see what's out there.
"I've come to the conclusion that I'm definitely going to be available July 1,'' Brodeur told ESPN.com on Friday. "I want to play one more season and I want to see what's out there."
Brodeur, who turned 42 last month, said he hasn't completely shut the door on returning to the Devils but feels like it's most likely he'll be elsewhere next season.
"I've had a lot of good conversations with the Devils, but I'm not inclined at going back at this point," said Brodeur, whose contract expires June 30. "I just feel that with Schneids (goalie Cory Schneider) the organization has to move on. Me being around might be tough a little bit for them. I don't completely put it out of the question (returning to New Jersey), but I don't want to mess up the cards for the Devils.
"At the end of the day, it doesn't matter where I go next, I'm always going to be a Devil. I'm always going to come back to the organization. But I want to play one more year. So I'll see what's out there."
Brodeur briefly dipped into the July free-agent market a couple of years ago before re-signing with the Devils. This time he's mentally prepared to make the jump.
"I want to challenge myself. It's a different opportunity, I've never experienced this before," Brodeur said. "I feel the year I had last season I can still play at a high level. I think I can help certain teams. I look at what happened in the playoffs with certain goalies and certain teams, I wish I could have been there for them."
In terms of a fit, Brodeur has a few ideas.
"I've got to see what the opportunities are. I'm not going to go somewhere where I don't feel comfortable," he said. "If I go somewhere as a No. 2 goalie, it's going to be a team that has a really good chance to win a Stanley Cup. If I go for a No. 1 job, it's going to depend on the situation. I think there are teams that can use me."
Brodeur also joked that maybe nobody will want him.
He does know that he'll be patient, as he may have to wait and see as the free-agent market develops.
12dScott Burnside and Craig Custance